Wiltshire Council hosted Health T Level industry placements in partnership with the Integrated Care Board to highlight the career opportunities available in social care.
Why did you decide to take on a T Level industry placement?
We wanted to be involved with T levels to enable us to showcase the careers available within local government. We were particularly keen to be involved with the Health T level to help raise the profile of the careers available within health and social care. We wanted to use the T levels as a future talent pool and a potential application pool for our apprenticeships within the council.
What area in the council were the placements working?
During the first year that we offered T Levels (2023), we offered placements to the Health and Digital T levels. The Health T Level was offered in partnership with our Integrated Care Board (ICB) partners. This enabled our students to complete the first half of their placement with us and the second half of their placement in a healthcare setting, giving them a much-improved experience.
What benefits has the placement provided to your council?
We’re yet to see the longer term benefits of T levels but we have had the opportunity to highlight the career opportunities available in social care. We offered students talks from our occupational therapists, social workers and other managers to enable them to see progression opportunities within health and social care. T levels also gave the opportunity for some of our support staff to build on their leadership skills by planning and organising a placement plan and mentoring the student.
What challenges needed to be overcome in taking on a placement?
The biggest challenge initially was explaining the benefits of the industry placements to the organisation. Although keen to be involved, there were concerns about students under 18 being able to carry out a placement in social care. Working with the provider and the managers, we overcame these, and I received really positive feedback from the managers on the quality of the students.
How do T Levels fit in with your wider workforce strategy?
Our workforce strategy is about having the ‘right people in the right place at the right time’ with the right skills and capabilities to complete their role. By engaging with T levels, we are engaging with young people who will have the right skills and will widen our talent pool. We will be looking to stay connected with our students to encourage them to apply for roles with us when they have completed their studies.
What did you learn from hosting a T Level industry placement?
The T level placements need to have someone central to coordinate, you need to build relationships with managers and ensure they have a clear understanding of the benefits as well. Building a good relationship with your education provider is key as well.
Would you recommend other councils take on a T Level placement?
Yes! T levels give councils the opportunity to showcase the range of career opportunities they have and allows them to engage with young people and help to identify our future workforce